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The ending changes everything.
So after five years of emotional investment we finally get to see where Bioware has decided to take us. There were promises of triumphant endings if you work hard, sobering phyrric victories if you rush, there was talk of "wildly diverging endings." Did Bioware deliver?

Well, the game does deliver plenty:
  • We finally get to see many places that were talked about for so long, make decision five years in the making and see how our previous ones turned out.
  • The pace of the story is a frenetic push to the finish. The HSQ is through the roof.
  • Pretty much every character drops in for a mission or a quick cameo.
  • Every part of the game just oozes atmosphere.
  • Interactions with your crew are a lot more diverse. The characters really shine one last time.
This far: great job Bioware!

MAJOR SPOILERS

And so, five minutes before the end you're sitting there in awe as you watch the final battle unfold, you did what you could, now you're just awestruck and content to see how things play out. And? Well, prepare for a little exercise Bioware prepared called "pissing on the franchise as much as we can in five minutes after we watched a M. Night Shyamalan movie." Choices? Fuck that. Here's what Yahtzee called an ending-tron 3000 with three identical endings that differ only in colour scheme. The implications are different- but we don't get to see any of it. Want to find out what happened to galactic civilization, the races and characters you came to love? How things turned out, what you worked for five years to achieve? Logic and storytelling were sacrificed for "profoundness." So we got no real ending, no explanations, no nothing.

You are dead. Galactic civilization is gone. Your crew is (for no apparent reason) stranded (forever?) on a planet. And nothing you every did over the last five years could change anything about it. In the end we got a conclusion to the Reapers story instead of Shepards story- and that's not what fans wanted. Oh, and the last word of the franchise? "Buy more DLC."

They turned Mass Effect from a grand space opera into the biggest Shoot The Shaggy Dog story of gaming. In five minutes flat, pretty impressive.

Either that or they are about to make the best/most-gainiaxed ending there ever was or will be in a game.
Call me an idiot but I'd pay good money to see a DLC where they change the ending ever so slightly. Perhaps have the Normandy crash on earth, then a few shots of a funeral/memorial/wake for Shepard with all the races stranded in the Sol System in attendance. Then, if you got enough EMS- a quick shoot of Jupiter with something resembling a mass relay panning into view with all the races you recruited working together on it and an aged up squadmate overseeing the whole thing from a ship. And maybe your aged squad/their implied children attending the first jump through it. Just under a minute, no dialogue- but a hell of a lot more closure and optimism.
comment #13210 Hasfet 11th Mar 12 (edited by: Hasfet)
^^^I haven't watched the endings yet, though I'm close. And while yes, gameplay is a medium for storytelling, it's also an integral part of the experience itself. Not discussing a game's gameplay is like not discussing a comic book's artwork or not discussing a song's instrumentation. You take it out, and you lose what makes it what it is.

And a lot of things did change from ME 2. Like the grenades. Class balances shifted now that some powers work against armored, shielded or barrier enemies (most prominently Biotic Charge) and now that there's a weight system for guns. Guns now have status and can be upgraded individually up to level 5 as well as modded. During the RP, there are sometimes people arguing, and you can support one or the other quickly by just selecting one and pressing a button to give your two cents. Paragon and Renegade now only track how you've acted instead of whether or not you can make certain persuasion options (which is up to your Reputation meter). Planet scanning is back, but fortunately there's only probe to launch per planet. Unfortunately, you'll have to dodge the incredibly annoying Reapers most of the time. Things like this need to be discussed in a comprehensive review.
comment #13212 DeviousRecital 11th Mar 12 (edited by: DeviousRecital)
If you were even partly indoctrinated before London then the Prothean VI on Thessia would've noticed it.

Face it, man. It's just bad writing.
comment #13221 Mightymoose101 12th Mar 12 (edited by: Mightymoose101)
I know it might be hard for gamers to accept this, but just because you don't get to singlehandedly fix everything in the last 5 minutes doesn't mean the ending is bad.
comment #14840 Postcard 14th Jun 12
@Postcard

Of course that's not what makes it bad. Introducing the actual villain of the whole story in the last 5 minutes while denying the player any chance of calling it on it's bullshit and have the whole ordeal be resolved via space magic and plot holes while refusing any semblance of closure is what makes it bad.
comment #14844 McSomeguy 14th Jun 12
"Introducing the actual villain of the whole story in the last 5 minutes"

... except the Catalyst is not the "actual villain". You're fighting against the Reapers, not the Catalyst. The ending simply tells you the origin of the Reapers. The Catalyst doesn't even stand against you; it simply allows you to make your decision.
comment #14862 lilyxlightning 15th Jun 12
@lilyxlightning

Let's see here ... the Catalyst made the Reapers and the Cycle, that makes it the The Man Behind The Man, meaning that it is the reason the whole thing ever happened which pretty much makes it the ACTUAL villain, and the Reaper's were it's little toys that it set loose upon the galaxy an eternity ago and they have been doing exactly what the Catalyst intended them to do ever since.
comment #14868 McSomeguy 15th Jun 12
With that said, here's the best solution, in my view, for the ending (spoilers ahoy.)

Build up your war assets as much as they'll go before taking back Earth. If you have to grind in multiplayer so a squad of Asari commandos will bring up the score to 1000 at 100% so be it. Then choose destroy. The Reapers are wiped out, Shepard survives, you love the mass relays and possibly the Normandy, but that seems to have the least casualness.

Though have a peruse through the WMG page for different ideas.
comment #14876 tsstevens 15th Jun 12 (edited by: lu127)
  • lose, sorry.
comment #14898 tsstevens 16th Jun 12
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